Topics explained – Automotive – Machinery and equipment in automotive workshops

Workers who operate machinery and use equipment could be at risk when:

  • working at height
  • using rigging to lift machinery, equipment and materials
  • using power tools, welders and extension leads that may be damaged or wet
  • exposed to poor isolation of energy sources or stored energy, such as spring-loaded or
  • counter-balance mechanisms, compressed air or fluids, or parts held in position by hydraulics or pneumatic (air) rams
  • placing hands close to mechanisms and being injured if caught or trapped by moving parts
  • moving heavy parts or repairing failed parts
  • disabling or removing normal safety systems to access mechanisms
  • working in low light or bright directional light
  • entering confined spaces
  • working alone or in isolation
  • exposed to excessive or sustained noise levels.

Spray booths, sanding and grinding equipment, airless spray equipment and compressed air all create potential hazards.

Chemical or thermal burns can result in significant body tissue damage.

All machinery and equipment should be regularly serviced and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. All equipment operators must be instructed, trained and supervised in its safe use.

Machinery and equipment should only be used for its intended purpose.

Moving parts of machinery can cause bruising, crushing, fractures, lacerations, dislocations, amputations and even fatalities.

Where there is a risk of injury from moving parts or processes, guarding in the form of a physical or other barrier must be used as a first line of defence. There must also be isolation or disengaging procedures in place when cleaning or maintenance is performed.

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